Factory Girl (2006) - Sexy. Uncut. Unrated.
|Genre(s): Biographical / Drama|
|Weinstein Company || Unrated - 99 minutes - $28.95 || July 17, 2007|
|Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2007-07-16|
Writer(s): Captain Mauzner (screenplay)
Cast: Sienna Miller, Hayden Christensen, Jimmy Fallon, Mena Suvari, Shawn Hatosy, Guy Pearce
Theatrical Release Date: February 2, 2007
Comment on this and other movies on the message board!
Factory Girl follows the turbulent life -- during the 1960s --of “it” girl Edie Sedgwick (Miller). After moving to New York City, she’s thrust into a new world when she meets then rising stimulating artist, Andy Warhol (Pearce) who sees something that could make her a star. Soon, Edie falls into the downward spiral of drugs and fame.
The biopic can be either a tremendous success or a horrible failure depending on who the central focal point is. In the case of Edie Sedgwick, whom I’ve never heard of (to be fair, my knowledge of Andy Warhol is limited to American Art History for which I got a generous D+), George Hickenlooper’s picture about her life with Warhol never quite hit the right notes. I never once felt sorry for her and my general feelings toward the woman were more neutral than apathetic. No doubt there’s a commonality between Sedgwick, someone who had no discernible talent, and Paris Hilton who is known only because of her name and (again), no real talent.
There were a few things I found fascinating. First, Guy Pearce steals the show. Like I said, I know little about Warhol but I found myself watching Pearce in every scene and if I didn’t know beforehand, I wouldn’t have known it was him. In the director’s commentary (more later), Hickenlooper gives a reason for the film’s lack of success due to quick editing in order to get screeners out to the voters with the hope of getting Pearce nominated (as well as Miller). I don’t know if they had waited a year if that would’ve happened because, in all honesty, Factory Girl still isn’t that good of a movie, but at the same time, Pearce does give one hell of a performance.
Nevertheless, the biggest problem I had with Factory Girl is I didn’t care about the woman. Sienna Miller may not be the greatest actress and she is gorgeous (and to this day, I curse you Jude Law), but the fault lies in the screenplay. Despite an additional 9-minutes, I don’t understand Edie anymore and a great talent in Pearce is merely shoved the side. Now, if we had a movie called Warhol’s Factory, then we might have a powerful flick...
One interesting note, besides Pearce’s performance, is Hayden Christensen’s role as “Billy Quinn”, a famous folk singer who had a fling with Miss Edie, chastising her involvement with Warhol and ignoring the Vietnam climate. In real life, “Billy Quinn” was in fact Bob Dylan and the name was changed in accordance with, I think, a lawsuit. What remains, however, is a nice mimic of Mr. Dylan by Christensen that leaves no doubt who “Quinn” is... and without the use of Google.
Director Commentary - George Hickenlooper provides a solid track that is both informative and, as much as you get in Hollywood, honest. He explains the so-called troubles while filming and going back to do reshoots which pushed the movie back to the last hour before it could be sent to Oscar voters. Hickenlooper admits he wanted to push the film back to late 2007 so that possible Oscar buzz could build for Pearce and Miller’s performances. He also points out what scenes were added back in and why to clue in those who did not see the theatrical version (like me).
Deleted Scene (1:21) - Also available with optional commentary, the scene isn’t anything special and, as the director describes, it was an improvised scene between Guy Pearce and Sienna Miller based on an actual taped conversation between their real counterparts.
The Real Edie (28:22) - This is a nice look into the real Edie Sedgwick from the perspective of friends and family (her brother) as well as the director. They talk about how she was in real life and her encounters with Warhol and the decent into drugs.
Guy Pearce’s Video Diary (19:57) - Raw but funny look on the set with Pearce behind a video camera taping various things like Jimmy Fallon’s antics or in the makeup chair as the designers touch up his hair and whatnot. I actually found more value from this than those standard ‘making-of’ featurettes.
Sienna Miller’s Cast Audition (7:22) - A basic setup where Sienna Miller sits in a chair and reads over the script.
Making of Factory Girl (9:57) - The usual ‘making-of’ fluff that goes through the motions between what the movie is about to interviewing cast members and gathering their thoughts on their co-stars. Not bad, but kind it doesn’t offer anything insightful either.
Finally, the theatrical trailer is also included.
.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.
Factory Girl is presented in anamorphic widescreen and is void of any noticeable dust or scratches (aside from where it was intended). The colors are nice and everything looks crisp and clean.
Since this is primarily dialogue-centric, my standards for audio in this case isn’t that high. The only audio track available is a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix that will suit everyone just fine.
There’s nothing particularly bad about Factory Girl, it just didn’t go all the way in terms of heart and soul. Yes, Edie Sedgwick had it rough and the moral of the story about knowing one’s self before diving into a new world should be taken seriously, but as Edie as the central focus, I could care less about her. Again, if Guy Pearce as Andy Warhol was at the forefront, I think this would’ve been fascinating. As it stands, see it for his performance, otherwise there’s not much value.